Gaming hardware sales surge during lockdown in UAE and Saudi Arabia
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Gaming hardware sales surge during lockdown in UAE and Saudi Arabia

Gaming hardware sales surge during lockdown in UAE and Saudi Arabia

VR hardware sales increase by almost half in UAE in first half of 2020


The UAE’s virtual reality (VR) market grew by almost half in the first half of 2020, as stay-at-home orders pushed people to AR and VR gaming platforms for entertainment and fitness.

According to research firm GfK, which tracks point of sales transactions, the VR equipment sales totalled $1.5m in H1 2020, representing a 46 per cent expansion from the same period in 2019.

The overall gaming market also grew strongly in the same period, data from GfK shows. Gaming hardware sales surged by 29 per cent in the first six months of 2020 in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, generating revenues of $256m.

Gaming notebooks (32 per cent), video game consoles (31 per cent), and gaming and leisure devices (17 per cent) account for the top three largest shares of the pie, contributing over $207m to this sector in January to June 2020. During this period, the fastest-growing categories were gaming monitors and gaming keyboards/mice, which generated 110 and 77 per cent respectively more sales revenue compared to the same period last year. Exponential growth was also recorded for gaming notebooks and gaming headsets, which both reported a 60 per cent increase in sales value.

Read: Saudi Arabia gaming market valued at $837m in 2019: study

Growth in the gaming segments tracked by GfK was sustained post lockdown in the two markets. Findings in the second quarter reflected devices such as gaming monitors and keyboards continuing to record increased sales by over twofold (+155 per cent and +135 per cent), while regular monitors (-22 per cent) and keyboards (12 per cent) either decelerated in growth or slipped into decline. Similar trends can be seen across the other products such as notebooks, headsets, peripherals etc, the report adds.

More than half (51 per cent) of the respondents to the GfK Consumer Pulse survey conducted during the lockdown indicated playing video-games as one of their key sources of indoor entertainment. Gaming beat listening to the radio (30 per cent), watching sports (37 per cent), streaming music (49 per cent) and videos-on-demand (50 per cent) and only second to the more traditional option of watching movie/series (71 per cent).

“Technological developments and innovations in the digital space, including the highly-anticipated rollout of 5G will continue to fuel the rapid growth of gaming globally, post-pandemic,” said Shika Samuel, analyst for IT panel at GfK.

“In the constantly evolving and very competitive marketplace, it is important for brands and businesses to have a good understanding of their gaming customers and what makes them tick, in order to succeed in the gaming industry,” she concluded.

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